Refurbished smartphones will have to pay twice the Private Copy tax

Adopted on Tuesday, this new law aimed at reducing the environmental impact of digital technology will above all mark the establishment of a new levy on refurbished electronic devices.

Yesterday Tuesday, November 2, a final vote in the Senate made it possible to adopt the bill relating to the reduction of the carbon footprint linked to digital technology, and in particular the very controversial Private Copy tax. Having become one of the first countries to legislate on the subject, France today stands out as a forerunner on the digital and environmental issue.

On paper, this new law was to be imposed as a means “To guide the behavior of all digital players, whether consumers, professionals in the sector or even public players, in order to guarantee the development in France of sober, responsible and ecologically virtuous digital technology”, details the Senate in an official press release.

No waiver of the Private Copy tax

In detail, however, the text is not unanimous. Starting with the Private Copy tax, which will now be applicable to all digital devices, even with reconditioning. Until now, this royalty imagined in 1985 applied to all digital devices, smartphones, tablets, computers, but also hard disks and USB keys sold in new condition. This tax, between € 12 and € 14 (for a smartphone) allowed the rights holders of musical works to receive financial compensation, in return for which private users were authorized to make copies of said works on a private basis.

Except that in addition to costing the taxpayer dearly (172 million euros in 2019, i.e. 70% of the revenue linked to this royalty earns Copy France), this tax seems especially completely obsolete today, at a time when legal streaming services represent most of our listening habits. As part of the law adopted this week by the Senate, the deputies have yet confirmed the adoption of this fee for reconditioned devices. Concretely, a smartphone will have to pay the Private Copy tax twice : a first time at the time of its new sale – € 14 for a 64 GB or more model – and a second time in the event of repackaging, this time for € 8.40 (still for 64 GB or more).

Double penalty therefore, both for consumers and companies specializing in refurbished, who deplore this decision, and now believe that “The government does not keep its promises to protect the sector and the purchasing power of the French”. It must be said that this royalty on the refurbished will logically have a impact on the second-hand market : in the months which will follow the application of the law, it will indeed be necessary to expect a significant increase in the price of refurbished, which will logically be to the detriment of consumers.

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